Episode 22. Why You Fear Change

change fear Jul 05, 2021
 

Change

You know what change is a funny thing because in one aspect of your life you might really like change and then in another you might really fear it

For me I love to change up my workout routines, 

I love change in the weather

I welcome change throughout my day so I am not bored

But I don’t like when change is forced on me or I am not choosing it

I don’t like when I have to change my attitude

Change my routine I had planned

Or change my way of doing things

Can you relate?

Case in point: in this study that was done of two groups of people who had to view a painting

One group was told the painting was done in 1905.

 The next group viewed the same painting but this group was told that the painting was done in 2005. 

The 1905 group rated the painting much more aesthetically pleasing than the other group that thought it was done in 2005.

We tend to like things that have been around for a while. That's the obvious reason for why we don't like change.

Fear of Change

You might stay put in a situation that makes you miserable or leave you feeling unsatisfied because you are scared to start something new or different or you just don’t know what the outcome will be. You would rather avoid change because of how uncomfortable change can be.

You also might have had different life experiences where making a change didn’t work out or caused more distress for you so you fear making any more changes. 

When you don’t see an optimal solution you stay stuck in a situation because you can’t see clearly what lies ahead if you change. 

If you don’t know how something will turn out, you may rather not try because the outcome could be bad. Your brain is designed to find peace in knowing all the answers or seeing the whole picture.

When you don’t know what will happen, your brain will make up possible scenarios and outcomes and, in turn, create worry. Also is it very human of you to find it hard to move on when something you have known for a long time comes to an end. 

Learning Fear from Your Parents

The fear of failure also comes into play to create a fear of change. Trying something new becomes a risk. And let’s be honest, if you fear change, you probably aren’t a risk taker am I right?

Now if you grew up in a household where the world was viewed negatively and there was a lot of cynicism, then this was a great breeding ground for fear and anxiety over trying something new.

Your parents might have had a negative view of the world because they may have dealt with trauma, abuse or poverty themselves. Their experiences may have created a worldview that promotes thinking that all paths are dangerous and filled with bad outcomes. So then you start to think that way as well. 

Natural Man

Also, the main reason you fear change is that you have this pesky thing inside of you called the natural man that is programmed to like to be in control. When the natural man wakes up because we aren’t in control it starts telling us stories about change and what will happen. These stories are both real and the imagined ones. Based in reality and fantasy 

But these stories of uncertainty generates a strong alert response in your limbic system. In the past few episodes I have talked a lot about how fear triggers our bodies to go into an overdrive state of fight or flight. Then we get burnt out and exhausted.

No wonder you fear the thought of change when it creates that type of response in your body and in your mind. If you keep rehashing old stories instead of being able to be open in your mind to what God has in store then you will not feel the peace that God has to offer you.

Craving Change

Did you also know though, that you have something inside of you that actually craves change, learning and growth? Yup! That's right it's called your true divine self!

When your true divine self is not being enticed by the natural man, you don’t fear change, you want it and welcome it.

President Nelson said:

“The wise use of your freedom to make your own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity. You are never too young to learn, never too old to change. Your yearnings to learn and change come from a divinely instilled striving for eternal progression. "

When you are in our true divine self, you can be directed to what needs to be changed. When you are in your natural man state, your capacity to receive spiritual guidance or even healing and help is limited

I think you know that your view is way more limited than God’s view and that following the path that the Savior has set for us will lead to eternal happiness right? But why is it that we fear change that could actually lead to more happiness? Why is it that we fall into thinking our own agenda is superior to what God wants for us?

The answer is in one word

Fear

Fear gets in the way of clarity and knowing our potential WITH God.

Fear makes us think uncertainty means a bad outcome

And keeps us from feeling the power God has to help us change

President Nelson  said:

"True change—permanent change—can come only through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of change! Oh, it is hard work—we may feel quite justified in our animosity—but yielding to the Lord’s way is the only way to lasting happiness."

Your Brain and Change

Remember, your brain prefers a predictable, negative outcome over an uncertain one. But your brain is also flexible and adaptive—it can be trained to thrive in change. I call this strengthening your choosing muscle. When you are triggered into the natural man, this is not a bad thing,

Last week I talked a lot about how this and why it is actually a good thing. It gives us an opportunity to choose God in those moments. You just need to strengthen your muscle of choosing God in those moments.

If you aren’t practicing choosing God in the small moments daily, then you won’t remember, be strong enough or know how to choose God in the big things. If you are wanting to learn some tools to help you choose God in those moments

I have a mini course that will do just that. It is a free course 

The skills I teach in that course will help you to feel peace, confidence and faith in choosing God when life gets hard and you need to make change.

 

Try my free Anxiety Mini Course

Learn how to calm your anxiety in this interactive mini video course